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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 10, 2011 4:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Down by the docks of the city ...

I made this little photo show just for the nice folks of the forum, and hopefully you'll find it at least a little interesting …

I don’t think I’ve ever done anything in particular before to commemorate the anniversary of Jerry's death, but for some reason — maybe where I live, maybe cuz I write on the forum, maybe cuz I’ve been housebound by the rain and felt a need to stretch my legs – I went on a walk yesterday with iPod and camera, down to the banks of the Bagmati River (which feeds into the Ganges, where some of the old guy’s ashes were strewn), documenting the world around me on 8/9/11.

Here are some pics. They’re not great pics, cuz I’ve been having serious camera problems and it was malfunctioning, but … well, at any rate, it might put some things in life in a kind of perspective. For all of Jerry’s infamous issues and flaws, he was able to realize his genius – which so many people have no chance to do – and do it not just in a way that brought himself satisfaction, but made other people’s lives better.

Incredible.

Maybe it’s a bit flakey to spend time on this (well, probably not “maybe”), but I’m doing this partly cuz it has meaning to me, partly cuz I hope some of you appreciate and relate to it, partly cuz it’s a satisfying way to learn a bit of html coding (this isn’t the cheat-code thing) … anyway, I’ll be seriously impressed if I get this up on the first try!

Black Muddy River, roll on forever …

DSCN5303.JPG

Yes, those are houses on the other bank. Apparently MG made some very unhappy comments about his ashes being put into one of the most polluted rivers on earth. And yet, well … it’s a connection to how much of humanity really does live. Judge for yourself.

Gonna leave this brokedown palace …

DSCN5309.JPG

A shantytown on the banks of the river. I plan to go down and talk to the people there someday and find out about their lives. Hold me to it, guys!

I could pay you back with one good hand …

Tihar%2C%20Village%2C%20Chitwan%201104.JPG

This is a gambling shack on the river banks, and you can’t tell from outside, but it was packed with men of all ages, sitting in the dark, gambling and drinking … for some people, this little shack may well bring the happiest moments of the day; for their families, it may well be the focus of all their misery as some August West drinks and gambles away his life down by the docks of the river. (Well, no docks, but trash heaps.)

What a lot of fleeting matters you have spurned …

Tihar%2C%20Village%2C%20Chitwan%201104.JPG

Yogis and renunciants and perhaps some lost August Wests who stay at this ashram by the banks of the river as they wander from temple to temple. The bearded guy looking at the sky is from Benares, India (where the ashes were actually scattered). Scores of men, probably hundreds, live here at times during their wanderings, having given up everything (or run away from troubles) to lead a life of prayer, philosophizing – and, generally, quite a bit of ganja. I talked with one man who had run away from home at the age of five to stay with the yogis. They agreed to do their day’s ritual in the name of “Jahari” (Jerry.)

Goin’ down the road feelin’ bad …

Tihar%2C%20Village%2C%20Chitwan%201104.JPG

If you walk around with an iPod listening to music, you end up with some odd “soundtrack moments” where something seen is being illustrated by a song. Nothing cosmic, but interesting. That happened here. It’s a porter who makes his living carrying goods for people.

Don’t want to be treated this-a-way

Tihar%2C%20Village%2C%20Chitwan%201104.JPG

Child laborer at his work, passing a sari shop displaying fancy bridal wear. He is probably unpaid, but those saris would cost at least a month's wages, almost certainly more, for many people.

Come hear Uncle John’s band …

Tihar%25252C%252520Village%25252C%252520Chitwan%252520069.JPG

This little girl thinks that Uncle John’s Band is the most beautiful thing she’s ever heard. I played parts of 9/20/70 for her, and wish I’d had a picture of her face as she listened: she had the earphones on, and her eyes were closed, and there was such an expression of joy on her face. What an extraordinary thing, really, to create music that can touch someone who was unborn when you died and lives halfway around the world, reaching across time and distance and culture and age …

If you find the shantytowns and child laborers grim, I hope this is a nice image to balance it. Smile smile smile, and all that.

edit: I did it on the first try! Yay!!!!! I feel like a techno-genius ... :-)





This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2011-08-10 11:21:50

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Poster: wineland Date: Aug 10, 2011 8:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

Wow. Best post I have seen in quite some time. Thank you.

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Poster: BobsShortShorts Date: Aug 10, 2011 8:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

I am truly blessed...thank you for reminding me...

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 10, 2011 7:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Thanks!

THANKS guys, for the really kind words!!!!!!!

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or Staffbeep* Date: Aug 10, 2011 8:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Thanks!

We are as amoebas unto you, dear lady.
*

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 10, 2011 10:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Thanks!

Hah. Some of you just write comparatively amoeba-sized posts, while I babble away at length. I learn a ton from folks, and not just from The Voluble Scholars. And hey, it's fun. Mostly. Beeps and bleeps and all.

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Poster: derf315 Date: Aug 10, 2011 9:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

Great post! Thank you for that.

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Poster: ganges Date: Aug 10, 2011 11:24am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

Thanks AR, this is something really awesome that you put together, the words go with the pictures perfectly. I remember Kathmandu from the days of the hippie trail which I travelled in the early 70s. All of India and Nepal, I never got back to Kathmandu (I hear it has changed a lot) but I travelled in India many times over all the years. This looks very familiar (we adopted 2 kids from India long ago, grown up now, what a gift for us).

I have been around here a while but didn't post much - I think I might be one of the few if not the only one who appreciates that some of Jerry's ashes were put into the Ganges, it is polluted but also really special especially if you go up into the mountains where it comes from - and I was always touched and attracted by the indian tradition - "...to join with all ashes of the past and as a recognition of the joining of the soul into the oneness of the cosmic ocean" as you put it the other day.

For me that goes perfectly with the GD and what they do for me even though I know that they weren't yogis in some ways, but acid tests could be very similar to what the yogis want to achieve/be.

Thanks again and HI to the Himalayas and the Sadhus (fake and real)!

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 10, 2011 7:43pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

Here's a saddhu for you. A real one (not in Kathmandu or any tourist city, and he was being brought around on a rickshaw by an accolyte preaching his message). We gave him a donation and he's blessing us through the car window.

DSCN5303.JPG

In the category of "wish I had my camera," I saw a guy the other day in the tourist area all dolled up with ashes and so on and with a sign on his trident: "Photo 100 Rupees." Talk about a "sawaddhu" (fake saddhu)!!!

Btw, it's changed since '92 (when I first came here), but not as much as people say, IMO, at least in terms of the atmosphere. However, I'm sure it's changed hugely since the days of the old Hippie Trail in the early '70s.

This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2011-08-11 02:43:51

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Aug 10, 2011 6:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

More than interesting... very touching. Thank you.

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Aug 10, 2011 9:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

Thank you, AltheaRose, for taking the time to put this moving photo essay together - and for the thoughtful captions and comments. I'm glad I stopped by to check out this place today . . . you do good work AR, always appreciate your comments and postings.

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Poster: TOOTMO Date: Aug 10, 2011 11:05am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

Very nice, AltheaRose. I think you chose your quotes well. Did you notice how many wires were coming out of that electric box above the sari shop? I flinched just looking at it.

A couple of questions though that I have been wondering about lately about you:

How long are you over there for?
Are you in India? Or, Tibet? Or, somewhere else?
What are you doing there? I don't think you are on mission there but it seemed like when you were getting ready to leave that the reason for you going was not strictly pleasure nor dropping out.

Not trying to be too personal just curious.

TOOTMO

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 10, 2011 7:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

In between India and Tibet. (Nepal.) I have a long connection here -- lived here in the 90s, speak the language tolerably, etc. -- and we'd always wanted to move back, personally as well as professionally. I have a lot of knowledge about this part of the world (as does my husband) and just want to use it!

Oh, on the wires at the sari shop -- absolutely standard. The whole city looks like that. I think PJ O'Rourke had the best phrase for the wires that criss-cross third world cities: "dirty hairnet of electrical wires." It's all do-it-yourself stuff, but houses don't burn cuz they're brick and concrete. Otherwise it would be constant flames.



This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2011-08-11 02:28:51

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Aug 10, 2011 9:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

I don't know if you've read Steve Parish's book, but your post reminds me of some things he says about Jerry.

Parish talks about how fascinated Jerry was by the drunk derelicts & homeless bums he'd encounter on the streets, especially on trips to New York. (Although San Francisco seems to have quite an aggressive homeless population these days!) Parish was impressed by how open Jerry would be with guys even Parish didn't want to get near.
Part of this may have come from Jerry's early days hanging out in his mother's bar, getting to know these people. As Parish saw it, Jerry was always aware that while he was doing well for the moment, another twist of fate & it would be a short trip back to the bottom.

Of course Jerry was also pretty down & out after he got out of the Army, from about '61-63. He was living in his car, mooching food off friends, getting a little money from yardwork or odd jobs or playing guitar. Parish points out that when he himself was living in his car when first working for the Dead, Jerry would give him tips on how to sleep more comfortably, how to make ketchup soup, etc, sounding almost wistful for the old days.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 10, 2011 6:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

Yeah, I did read it; I actually thought of that when I was taking the pics. Actually, while thinking how to commemorate the day, I first thought of getting a garland and tossing it in the river -- very Hindu, but not very Jerry -- but decided the best thing was just to give money to beggars, knowing that, of course, they will mainly spend it on booze or whatever.

The only ones I never give to are women with babies (they're using the babies to beg and often drugging them to keep them quiet, or their partner/beggar lord has them do that), and street kids (who will get off the streets faster if they don't make money begging). But down-and-out drunks, or crippled beggars (often maimed as kids by beggar lords) who probably drink it away, too ... well, their lives suck anyway. If mercy's in business, I wish it for them ...

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Aug 10, 2011 8:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

Aha. At least you didn't do a photoessay inspired by his chapters on the, ahh, "perks" of being a roadie!

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Poster: Finster Baby Date: Aug 10, 2011 8:30am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

Thanks for posting this AR.
Always interesting to see how others around the world live.
Pictures are worth thousands of words in this case!!
Well Done.

I'm also sending a virtual high five your way for "getting it right the first time". (Your words, not mine)

You go girl!!

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Poster: jerlouvis Date: Aug 10, 2011 8:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

Such a thought provoking and interesting post,something like this makes all the idiocy here worth wading through.Thank you AR.

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Poster: jglynn1.2 Date: Aug 11, 2011 7:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

Really cool AltheaRose. Interesting idea and well executed.

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Poster: Arbuthnot Date: Aug 10, 2011 2:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

beautiful, thoughtful and definitely appreciated, thank you; please do not ever leave this forum

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Poster: piles70 Date: Aug 10, 2011 9:15am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

"he was able to realize his genius – which so many people have no chance to do – and do it not just in a way that brought himself satisfaction, but made other people’s lives better."
Thank you that is beautiful.
And thank you for this post. I've been struggling this year with keeping what's truly important in perspective.
I find your pictures to be very centering.
Thank you very much.

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 10, 2011 12:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

You have just officially been named Calliope Woman (Forum Version), for spinning that curious sense of your own...

I can't answer; and I am William Tell for crying outloud.

;)

Good job, kiddo.

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Poster: turnphilup Date: Aug 10, 2011 6:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

Great shots and descriptions of what you experienced. Thanks for sharing your "day in the life" with us. Now I know why I check this dang forum everyday of my freaking life! Its for post like this. Peace

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Poster: SomeDarkHollow Date: Aug 10, 2011 11:08am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

Fantastic post. Shows that we are, indeed, everywhere. Kind of like cockroaches (if you're talking to the wife). Could also have titled this "Eyes of the World"; just about anyone can take a nice landscape picture, but pictures like these, where you get to look into the eyes of "real" people living day to day carry so much more weight. True perspecitve, indeed.

Thanks again.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Aug 10, 2011 7:09am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

This was really wonderful! Thanks so much!

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Poster: GratefullyDeadInAfrica Date: Aug 10, 2011 4:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

That is quite interesting man. I need to do something similiar while I am in Kenya.

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Poster: elbow1126 Date: Aug 10, 2011 5:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

Well done. The shantytowns and child laborer pictures don't make me uncomfortable at all. To the contrary, they remind me how fortunate I am (we are). Thanks.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: Aug 10, 2011 4:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

That was a really great photo-essay AR, thank you for taking the time to put it together.

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Poster: boat man Date: Aug 10, 2011 12:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

"Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right."

Thanks

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Poster: user unknown Date: Aug 10, 2011 11:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

"I did it on the first try! this isn’t the cheat-code thing"

Congrats AR. And thanks for the effort.

"I hope some of you appreciate and relate to it."

I definitely appreciate this post, and though some of the images are a little sobering; as "LBo" said, "they remind me how fortunate I am (we are)". And if the smiling little girl in the last picture doesn't warm the heart of even the most curmudgeonly here, then I fear they have no heart.

"beep*" said, "Jahari would be pleased."

Amen

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Poster: Administrator, Curator, or Staffbeep* Date: Aug 10, 2011 5:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

Beautiful. Nice job.
Jahari would be pleased.
*

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Aug 10, 2011 2:44pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

>What an extraordinary thing, really, to create music that can touch someone who was unborn when you died and lives halfway around the world, reaching across time and distance and culture and age …

Wow this line just blew me away...well said! Great pics, great post! Makes me want to visit someday. Thanks a lot for this :)

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Poster: Jack o' Roses Date: Aug 10, 2011 10:06am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ... Best thread nomination!


Thanks Sis for sharing - what great comments. Seriously, I feel I'm better for having read/seen your post & this thread!

Are many homeless merely re-incarnated sannyasi...?

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Poster: William Tell Date: Aug 10, 2011 6:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ... Best thread nomination!

Damn, Jack! I was sure my old post on "Stalingrad: re-interpreting the role of the T-34 subsequent to the aerial Battle of Britain" was a ringer for this coveted award.

Oh well, it couldn't happen to a nicer Forumite. And it's a darn good post, too.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 10, 2011 7:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ... Best thread nomination!

Thanks, guys. My prize can be that you periodically bug me to make progress on the book I'm theoretically writing when I'm not being a lazy bum :-)

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Poster: reviewr Date: Aug 10, 2011 1:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

Cool post! Thanks for taking the time.

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Aug 10, 2011 7:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

That was beautiful. Thank you

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Poster: DermotO'Sullivan Date: Aug 11, 2011 6:41am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Down by the docks of the city ...

Thank You!

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